Microgaming boss John Coleman believes we are living in an era of ’unprecedented change’ while Jim Mellon says there are two high-growth business opportunities in ’longevity and a meatless future’.
Mark Wilson, managing director of Sleepwell Hotels says human interaction is the most important thing to consider for the future.
And Katherine Ellis, chief executive of Boston multi family office, also believes businesses can still offer a human and personal service amid all the new technology.
These are just some of the 30 people who have made predictions looking a decade ahead to 2030.
KPMG in the island captured the thoughts of what they call ’key thinkers and local voices of change’.
The Athol Street company approached 30 local ’voices’ to include chief executives and business leaders of Isle of Man businesses, spanning the private and public sector. The premise for each voice is the same, being asked to imagine they are in 2030, speaking with a chief executive who is in 2020, sharing their thoughts about the changes and giving them advice on how to prepare for what’s to come.
A spokesman said: ’No -one has a crystal ball on what it will be like - but all the voices have considered trends and things happening now, that will provide a foundation for how things will be in 10 years.’
Simon Nicholas, clients and markets partner at KPMG Isle of Man, said: ’The rate of development over the past decade has been staggering and makes predictions for 2030 even more difficult.
’KPMG can offer their own view but there are many others and that’s why this initiative was so interesting.
’To capture the thoughts of local leaders in one place has been enlightening’.
The initiative has created 30 short written interviews from the chosen commentators and is intended to offer local business leaders an opportunity to consider the island’s future and challenge the status quo, resulting in some surprising predictions thrown into the mix.
Russell Kelly, managing partner at KPMG Isle of Man, said: ’We’ve greatly enjoyed working with the local commentators and their respective businesses and value their thought-provoking, and sometimes entertaining, input.
’The 30 statements have undoubtedly demonstrated the forward-thinking nature of the Manx business community and, if nothing else, will leave readers with a sense of comfort knowing that the island’s future is in the safe hands of the local business leadership.’
Here are some of the observations:
John Coleman, chief executive of Microgaming:
He believes the island’s ageing population is ’a major socioeconomic threat’, not just for Microgaming and its ability to attract and retain top talent in the future, but for businesses large and small across the island.
He said: ’I also think about the purpose-driven workforce we are cultivating and how to meet their growing needs - I expect that to become a considerable challenge long before 2030.
’And then there’s climate change and conservation.’
Mr Coleman added: ’Is it bold enough to predict that humans will have successfully landed on Mars by 2030?
’In truth, I don’t think we’re in a position to be making bold predictions about the next 10 months, let alone 10 years. We’re living in an era of unprecedented change.
’Looking specifically at the online gaming industry, we operate across ever-shifting sands, in markets that invariably support or stifle growth.
’As a business and industry, we need to work out how best to respond to that dichotomy between rapid growth and increasing regulation, which naturally we embrace and encourage.
’It’s not a prediction, but with Microgaming focusing more and more on CSR (corporate social responsibility), which for us includes responsible gambling, I hope to see the industry working together on delivery of a zero-harm gambling product long before 2030.’
Mark Wilson, managing director at Sleepwell Hotels
’According to one well known dictionary, the definition of Hospitality is:
’’The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers’’.
’This in a nutshell is what the hotel industry is all about, the welcome, the service, the food, the facilities, the atmosphere, the creation of memories and of course, the value for money. With the advent of instant review sites evolving from the original model back in the late 20th Century- ’’Trip Advisor’’, customer feedback can now make or break a business. Never has it been more important to be on top of your game, to ensure expectations are met, fail to do this and both you and the entire world around you will instantly know about it.
’We may now have hotel technology to take care of much of our guest needs, remote check in and billing, each guest’s breakfast order sent and prepared ahead of their arrival via in-room personal devices, front desks replaced by self-service information portals, the ability to hold a virtual reality morning team brief with the office whilst brushing your teeth, bedroom televisions long replaced by interactive media hubs, touch button beds with multiple mattress and pillow options, voice controlled curtains, but amongst all this madness, the one consistent remains, humans.’
Mr Wilson added: ’The most important thing we must provide is the human interaction.
’What use is tech when it dares to fail, or you just need someone to ask for help?
’What use a breakfast delivered by a faceless robot if you want your coffee just a little stronger or your morning boiled egg a tiny bit more well done?
’Does the front-desk information portal understand the precise directional options to Laxey Wheel in the rain whilst recommending a good stop off for a light-lunch?
’A time-served concierge providing a map, an umbrella and local information anyone?
’So, move with the times, you have no choice, upgrade to an entirely wireless infrastructure, reduce your carbon footprint and landfill guilt by removing those pesky miniature plastic toiletries, offer an extensive vegan menu, accept every guest request possible via a screen, recycle everything within an inch of its life, but always remember the welcome, the farewell and ultimately what hospitality is all about - The Human Touch!
’As someone clearly very clever once said, ’’We’re here for a good time, not a long time’’. ’
Jim Mellon, chairman at Burnbrae Ltd:
’We are focusing on a dramatic increase in longevity in the human population and a concomitant explosion in opportunity.
’This will affect such areas as longevity science, catering to older people, adventure tourism, financial services reorganisation as traditional pensions and savings schemes are swept away - and all of these are balls that the island can pick up and run with.
’In addition, the development of "clean meat" alternatives to raised animals is a no brainer for the Isle of Man.
’It ticks every zeitgeist box; environmentally friendly, no antibiotics use, less water and land consumption, vegan friendly and no cruelty.
’This will be a huge industry and it is one I suggest the Isle of Man urgently looks at.’